The Auntie Doris Years: 1900

The Auntie Doris Years: 1900
I had originally started the Auntie Doris years in 1910, which was the year that My Father proposed to my mother, and four years before I was born. But when I completed 1999 the other week, I thought “Why not go back to 1900 and do the whole ruddy century. So I had a word with my mother, and a few other people who have been dead even longer than she has, and I decided to have a go at it. What with my insight and knowledge I’ll make a ruddy historian of you yet. Never mind that Simon Schama, stick with me.
Any road, my mother was eight in 1900, and Queen Victoria was still on the throne. This might come as a surprise to some people, who thought that she only ruled during Victorian days, but she was actually the ruler in the early part of the twentieth century an’all.
She was a scrawny little lass, (my mother, not Queen Victoria) which was partly because she never got a great load to eat. Not many people did in those days. For her main meal of the day, her mother used to cut a slice of bread in half. She would have one half spread with dripping for her first course, and one half spread with jam for her pudding. That’s maybe why she ate so ruddy much later on in life when there was a few more bob coming in. Either that, or she suffered from that middle child syndrome. She was the middle one of five sisters and three brothers, there would have been more but for the three who died in childbirth and Little Letitia who died of the scarlet fever when she was three.
Her oldest brother, Will, was a soldier, and he went and got himself killed in the ruddy Boer War, trying to keep the Dutch people from ruining the essential Britishness of South Africa, with their ruddy windmills, clogs and tulip fields. Nobody asked the natives what they wanted.
We had another war in Africa that year an’all, the war of the Golden Stool, in Ghana, or the Gold Coast as we used to call it. They used to have so much gold out there that someone did a golden stool for the Chief of the Ashanti Tribe. The thing was, the British Governor, Fred, Hodgson wanted it in his bathroom, to go with his golden shower. That just goes to show what bad buggers some of those colonial blokes were. The leader of the Ashantis was a woman! She was called Yaa Asantewaa and she caused old Frederick a few problems before they defeated her and pinched the ruddy stool. “Here… Have the ruddy thing…” she said (in African) “and I hope you trip over it and break your sodding neck!” Sadly, he didn’t.
Auntie Doris’s top pop hit of 1900: “Tell Me Pretty Maiden (Are there any more at home like you?)” by the Lyric Theatre Chorus. In not sure if this was released on “His Master”s Voice” or not, but 1900 was the year that they had that picture of the dog looking into the gramophone player recorded. It’s all HMV these days. Everyone prefers the initials. Any road, my mother’s answer would have been “There are a few” what with all her sisters.
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